Asha Gwin’s post last week on crime in Oak Cliff, as compared to other parts of Dallas, reminded me a couple of things recently mentioned to me by Councilman Elba Garcia — that in Dallas, four of the 14 councilmen represent portions of what is know as "Oak Cliff". Plus, when it comes to crime, even though a reporter says, "a shooting in Oak Cliff," if you live in Winnetka Heights, for example, the distance between you and the shooting may be a similar distance between you and Lakewood or you and Preston Hollow — even though the area where the shooting took place has the same moniker as the neighborhood in which you live.
So it’s no wonder that Dallasites associate Oak Cliff with crime, when such a broad area is defined as "Oak Cliff". And as Garcia points out, when crime takes place in Far North Dallas, for example, it’s less likely to be defined as "a shooting in Far North Dallas" and more likely to be "a shooting at Coit and Spring Valley". This lack of neighborhood or area identification in other parts of the city also exaggerates the perception of crime.